Cura and I have been together since 2009. We want to thank all of you who followed the early days as well as those who popped back on occasion during the long hiatus. Training was done, the days passed, and we were settling into our life together.
Fast forward: Cura is slowing down and a new member of the family is in training. On top of that, we are all busy with our new calling . . . Running the Training Department for Paws and Stripes. Join us on our journey!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All Work and No Play . . . NOT

Yikes! How time flies when you are swamped! I must apologize for the posting delay. Being in education, the lead up to the start of the academic year becomes a bit insane. Before I knew it, over a week had gone by with no new installment! While there are a number of things that have taken place in the past month or so that I would LOVE to share -- I have not finished writing on them. Besides, a wonderful development has occurred that I simply MUST share . . .

Up until now, Cura's response to toys and play in general was either tentative or non-existent. The last 48 hours has seen a significant change in that behavior. Two nights in a row now, she has whole-heartedly engaged in play. She does play with me, but because of my disability, there are games that we simply can not play together -- our play needs to be more sedate. Since she is not overly keen to play fetch (after a few throws, she loses interest), there is really no form of play that I have come up with where she can just let go. However, Cura appears to have found a solution -- she plays with Fuzzy Face! There are no 'rambunctious' limits with him (at least not yet).

It was very funny the first time Cura really engaged Fuzzy Face in a game. After only a few days of being home, Cura began welcoming Fuzzy Face home enthusiastically (at least once he addressed her -- she is good about not bouncing around like a crazy puppy when people come home). You could tell that she was happy to see him. This particular time, Cura greeted him with a stuffed toy, nudging it into his hands and encouraging him to play -- he promptly obliged with a huge smile on his face and laughter in his voice.

Now, it is important to know that Fuzzy Face has never met a dog that didn't bit him . . . Okay, that is an exaggeration, but not a huge one. He has managed to get bitten on a number of occasions, and not always by strange dogs. So, here is Cura, stuffed toy in mouth, mouth VERY close to Fuzzy Face's hands -- the two of them merrily playing. Then, all of a sudden, Cura began making play noises . . . anyone who has owned a dog knows what I mean. A non-dog person would consider this noise a growl, and in some ways it is but not a menacing one. But, that first Fuzzy Face observing that Cura had 'big teeth' and, given the fact that they were very close to his hands, he was not prepared to 'risk it'. Despite reassurances that Cura was not vocalizing a menacing warning (I have heard Cura's warning growl and that wasn't it), Fuzzy Face stopped playing. Poor Cura watched him as he ascended the stairs, stuffed toy in mouth . . . (Cura's mouth, not Fuzzy Face's)

But, the next time Fuzzy Face was prepared and was not daunted by Cura's play noises. In fact, he appeared to take pleasure in them. I think this is going to be kind of his own little thing with her -- as I said, Cura just can't play like that with me. At a certain point, I have to stop the game if she does not drop her level of play enthusiasm. But with Fuzzy Face she can be much more bouncy and rambunctious. It gives her another outlet for her energy. Although her golf car runs, play dates, lessons, and work keep her very busy and constantly releasing any pent up energy, it is a different release than pure, unadulterated play. I really enjoy seeing Cura play with puppy enthusiasm. Prior to a couple of days ago, she didn't. But now it appears that, after 21 weeks, Cura is no longer all work and no play! May the games continue . . .